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- 10/01/17--05:33: _Suspect in Edmonton...
- 10/01/17--18:09: _‘It’s about the dre...
- 10/02/17--04:42: _U.K. scrambles to b...
- 10/02/17--03:00: _Temps on Pearson ta...
- 10/02/17--11:17: _Drama students at M...
- 10/02/17--06:46: _Suspect in Edmonton...
- 10/02/17--12:52: _Trump’s controversi...
- 10/02/17--12:57: _Friends mourn victi...
- 10/02/17--13:05: _Quebec City mosque ...
- 10/02/17--03:00: _Sammy Yatim’s mothe...
- 10/02/17--10:16: _Can new NDP leader ...
- 10/02/17--06:33: _Julie Payette becom...
- 10/02/17--09:14: _Massey College prof...
- 10/03/17--13:10: _Edmonton attack sus...
- 10/03/17--11:01: _Paul Ryan says NRA-...
- 10/03/17--10:47: _2 men arrested in R...
- 10/03/17--12:45: _In NDP leadership r...
- 10/03/17--13:00: _QEW crash at Guelph...
- 10/03/17--10:03: _Leafs' Joffrey Lupu...
- 10/03/17--12:51: _Federal Liberals, C...
- 10/01/17--05:33: Suspect in Edmonton attack faces terrorism, attempted murder charges
- He thinks all drugs should be decriminalized and calls addiction a public health rather than a law enforcement issue.
- If he becomes prime minister, he promises to create a federal ban on racial profiling. This would apply to institutions under Ottawa’s control, such as the RCMP, he says.
- Singh is taking aim at temp contracts and proposing to force businesses to hire workers on staff after they’re employed full-time for six months. He also wants to ban unpaid internships and raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for workers under federal jurisdiction.
- He wants to hike taxes by 2 to 4 per cent on people earning more than $350,000 per year, create a 40-per-cent estate tax on properties — other than primary residences — worth more than $4 million, and bring the federal corporate tax rate back to 19.5 per cent from the current 15 per cent put in place by the previous Conservative government.
- Singh vows to meet Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions target of 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025 instead of 2030, which is the Liberal government’s target. To do this, he wants a national transit strategy with long-term funding for projects, and to phase out subsidies to oil and gas companies by 2020, among other proposals.
- A Singh government would change the way people vote in federal elections to a mixed-member proportional system with regional lists of candidates. After two elections, the new system would be put to a national referendum.
- 10/02/17--06:46: Suspect in Edmonton attacks was investigated by RCMP in 2015
- 10/02/17--12:57: Friends mourn victims of Rebel nightclub shooting
- 10/02/17--06:33: Julie Payette becomes Canada’s 29th Governor General
- 10/03/17--11:01: Paul Ryan says NRA-backed gun bill on silencers shelved indefinitely
- 10/03/17--10:47: 2 men arrested in Rebel nightclub shooting deaths
- 10/03/17--10:03: Leafs' Joffrey Lupul fails second medical
Police and politicians urged Canadians to be vigilant, but called for calm and unity in the wake of a terrorist attack in Edmonton that injured five and led to the arrest of a 30-year-old suspect who had previously been investigated for espousing extremist views.
It is the second major terrorist attack in Canada this year, following January’s shooting at a mosque in Quebec City that killed six and injured 19.
CBC News identified the Edmonton suspect on Sunday as Abdulahi Hasan Sharif. Police and federal officials would only confirm that the man in custody is a 30-year-old refugee from Somalia and had been interviewed by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in 2015. But RCMP Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand said there had been insufficient evidence to charge him or issue a peace bond at the time and he was not considered a national security threat.
The man is now facing terrorism charges and five counts of attempted murder. Police also confirmed that the black flag of Daesh was found in the suspect’s car Saturday, but he is believed to have acted alone. According to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, the accused was on a police watch list, and yet when Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht was asked if there had been any warning of an impending attack, he responded, “absolutely not.”
Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement calling the crime “another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against.”
“We cannot — and will not — let violent extremism take root in our communities. We know that Canada’s strength comes from our diversity, and we will not be cowed by those who seek to divide us or promote fear,” he said.
An Edmonton police officer, Const. Mike Chernyk, was among the wounded and was praised for his actions, along with other first responders who arrested the suspect just after midnight. Chernyk was released from hospital hours after the attack, despite suffering stab wounds to his face and body. Two of the four injured pedestrians were also back at home Sunday.
Chernyk was on a routine shift controlling traffic outside an Edmonton Eskimos football game near Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night when the attack began. It was a “military appreciation night” where Canada’s chief of defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, had conducted the pre-game coin flip and two CF-18 fighter jets soared overhead before the kickoff. According to The Canadian Press, more than 800 Boy Scouts were expected at the game and many were planning to camp out on the field afterward.
Around 8:15 p.m. local time, a Chevy Malibu crashed through a traffic barrier and struck Chernyk. Knecht said the car approached “suddenly, without notice, and at a high rate of speed,” sending the officer flying five metres into the air.
The suspect then got out of the car, ran to the fallen constable and repeatedly stabbed him. Grainy video footage of the crime was released Sunday and appears to show Chernyk struggling with the man, then following him as he flees.
Found in the car were documents that identified the suspect, along with the distinctive black flag that the group Daesh erected over its so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
A few hours later, a U-Haul van was stopped at a police checkpoint north of Edmonton’s downtown. An officer, who asked the driver for his licence, noted that the name was close to that of the registered owner of the white Malibu, Knecht said. The van then sped off, while the officer returned to his cruiser to call for backup.
Knecht told journalists it is “always a difficult decision to make — to chase a vehicle or let it go,” but, fearing that the U-Haul would be used as a weapon, police pursued the van. During the chase, the four pedestrians were hit. Knecht said the suspect intentionally swerved to hit pedestrians at crosswalks and in alleyways.
As is often the case following terror attacks, the viciousness of the crime quickly gave way to a vicious discourse on social media — peaking when reports emerged that the suspect was a refugee claimant. (Later reports clarified that he was a refugee.)
The National Council of Canadian Muslims quickly condemned the “senseless” attacks.
Executive director Ihsaan Gardee said that such incidents call for solidarity.
“The issue of backlash, you can’t help but think about, of course, but first and foremost our thoughts are with the victims and families,” he said. “The community stands shoulder to shoulder with all Canadians in condemning this horrific kind of act, regardless of who perpetrates them. We need to look at this together and stand united.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley vowed to do all in her power to stop terrorism in its tracks. “Freedom and liberty are core to who we are as Albertans, and that core can never be divided by those who know only fear, violence and hatred,” she told media Sunday morning.
Alexandra Bain, an associate professor of religious studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B., and the executive director of Hayat Canada Family Support, lamented the fact that violent extremism “seems to be a hallmark of the modern world.”
Before leading Hayat, a family counselling group that offers programs for relatives and friends of those involved in violent extremism, Bain researched extremism by following 1,500 jihadist Twitter accounts and conducting lengthy interviews with 30 members of Daesh and Al Qaeda affiliates fighting in Syria, as well as another 30 online jihadist sympathizers.
But Bain notes that, “when you look at the statistics, Canada has far more to worry about (with) violent extremists from the far right, such as white supremacists or neo-Nazis” than with groups like Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
She said Canada remains unique, compared to Europe, which has suffered multiple attacks in the past few years and where thousands of young Muslims succumbed to Daesh propaganda.
“Canadian Muslims, much like their counterparts in the U.S., have a much different experience than their fellow European Muslims. Muslim immigrants to Europe usually come from countries that have been previously colonized. Their status as second-generation immigrants has resulted in their being marginalized, and they suffer from a great deal of discrimination,” Bain said.
“In Canada, many of the young people who are recruited or influenced by groups such as ISIS are often either converts to Islam … or second-generation Muslims who have rejected their parents’ traditional Islam. A great number, if not most, of these young people have suffered from some form of mental illness.”
Suspect in Edmonton attack faces terrorism, attempted murder charges Suspect in Edmonton attack faces terrorism, attempted murder charges Suspect in Edmonton attack faces terrorism, attempted murder charges
Jagmeet Singh, a former criminal defence lawyer and Brampton MPP who rose to prominence as an upbeat opponent of police carding and precarious work, will lead the New Democratic Party into the next federal election.
The 38-year-old who brashly predicted his own victory won the party’s leadership race on Sunday with a commanding 53.8 per cent on the first ballot. He will now leap into national politics without a seat in the House of Commons, as leader of a third-place party that’s still reeling from its dispiriting defeat in the 2015 election, when it appeared on the cusp of power for the first time.
Singh, whose parents are from India, is also the first leader of a major federal party who is not white.
“Canadians deserve a government that understands the struggles that people are facing right now,” Singh proclaimed before an audience of party faithful at a Toronto waterfront hotel on Sunday afternoon, where his victory was met with thunderous cheers.
“It takes an act of love to realize we are all in this together, and an act of courage to demand better, to dream bigger, and to fight for a more inclusive and just world,” he said.
Singh dominated the first round of voting to replace outgoing leader Thomas Mulcair, who has led the NDP since 2012, when he took over in the wake of Jack Layton’s death. Of the 65,782 members who voted — a 52.8-per-cent turnout — Singh received the support of more than 35,000.
Charlie Angus, a veteran MP from northern Ontario, placed second with 12,705 votes representing 19.4 per cent of ballots cast. Manitoba MP Niki Ashton, who ran the most left-leaning campaign of the race with pledges for free tuition and universal pharmacare, closely followed Angus with 11,374 votes (17.4 per cent).
Finishing fourth was Guy Caron, the lone Quebec MP in the race, who argued the province is integral to the NDP’s electoral chances and proposed creating a basic minimum income for all Canadians, among other ideas.
But Singh, whose campaign slogan “Love and Courage” was regarded by many as a nod to the “love, hope and optimism” expressed in Layton’s last public statement, fulfilled the hopes of supporters who saw him as a fresh candidate with the potential to expand the party into new constituencies, such as Singh’s own suburban enclave of Brampton.
In an interview with the Star on Sunday evening, Singh said his breakthrough as the first person of colour to lead a major federal party will inspire other people who feel left out or disadvantaged.
“Because other people have broken barriers, it gave me in my life a capacity to even dream of achieving something,” he said, pointing to Rosemary Brown, the first Black woman elected to a provincial legislature.
“Hopefully this next big step” — his leadership win — “will inspire a whole host of new leaders across the country, people who never saw themselves represented in positions of power,” he said.
Singh highlighted four priorities for the NDP under his leadership: fighting climate change, curbing income inequality, pursuing Indigenous reconciliation and changing the electoral system. He railed against the Trudeau Liberals in his victory speech, accusing the party of campaigning as a progressive force and then failing to deliver once in government.
Singh told the Star that he believes he can win voters on the left side of the political spectrum by actually following through on his promises.
“Easy,” he said when asked how he will differentiate his NDP from the Liberals. He said they’ll actually change the voting system — Trudeau repeatedly promised to do so but dropped that pledge earlier this year— and stop a court challenge of a human rights ruling that ordered the government to provide adequate funding to health and family services for Indigenous children.
“It’s going to be very easy to point out all the dreams and hopes that people had, that the Liberals touched on, and just didn’t implement,” Singh said.
In terms of seeking a seat in the House of Commons, Singh repeated that he’s “open” to taking advice on when and where he could run, but made no commitment to try to enter Parliament before the next general election.
Singh said he will resign his seat at Queen’s Park as soon as possible and plans to use his time to engage with Canadians across the country, comparing his situation to when Layton took over the party in 2003 and didn’t have a federal seat.
“I’m confident I can follow in those footsteps,” he said.
Olivia Chow, a former MP and Layton’s widow, also brushed off concerns about a seat. She told the Star after Singh’s victory that she’s certain he can be a strong advocate for NDP priorities, because he has experienced hardships that many Canadians face, such as racial discrimination and struggling with his family to make ends meet.
“When that shapes your life, it means we have a leader who will connect and who is true to his values, and he will deliver what needs to be done,” Chow said.
Adam Vaughan, a Liberal MP from Toronto’s west end and a former city councillor, congratulated the new leader but quickly added that his policies are “thin.” Vaughan defended the Liberals against the NDP claim that they’ve failed progressive voters. He rhymed off policies such as increased children’s payouts to most Canadian families and raising taxes on the rich.
“I will stand with anybody in this country and put our progressive results against their promises to be a progressive opposition,” he said.
Another issue that has dogged Singh during his leadership campaign related to state secularism and religious symbols. The issue is being debated in Quebec, a key electoral battleground for the party, where a bill is before the national assembly that would ban people from wearing religious face coverings when giving or receiving public services.
Singh, who wears a turban and kirpan knife as a practising Sikh, is staunchly opposed to the bill, arguing it would breach individual rights. His stance has drawn opposition from the NDP’s federal caucus; Quebec MP Pierre Nantel recently suggested he may sit as an Independent if the next leader doesn’t respect the will of Quebecers on secularism.
On Sunday, Singh told the Star that his NDP will present a “united front” on these issues, ensuring that members of his party would support individual rights and social democratic values.
Near the back of the hotel ballroom where Singh was declared leader, a 48-year-old Toronto man named Binder Singh watched with a smile. He said he needed to be here “watching history happen,” even though six weeks ago he had bypass surgery on his heart.
“It’s about the dream,” he said, describing Singh’s victory as proof that anyone can achieve greatness in Canada, regardless of their religion or appearance.
“Canadian politics needed a shift. They needed fresher, younger faces to come in now. And Jagmeet is part of that change,” he said.
“A beard or a turban means nothing now.”
Key facts about Jagmeet Singh
Hometown: Singh was born in Scarborough; lived in St. John’s, N.L., until he was 7; and then moved to Windsor, Ont.
Family: He is the oldest of four kids in his family. He is not married and doesn’t have children.
Occupation: Before entering politics with a failed bid for a federal seat in 2011, Singh worked as a criminal defence lawyer in the Toronto area, after graduating from Osgoode Hall and passing the bar in 2006. He later opened his own law practice.
Political trajectory: Singh was elected provincially as an MPP from Brampton just months after losing in the federal campaign, and still holds that seat at Queen’s Park. He stepped down as the Ontario NDP’s deputy leader after entering the federal leadership race.
Hobbies: Singh is known for his proclivity for martial arts: he’s into Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has competed in the past. He’s also a big bike rider. His rides in different parts of the country through various places across the country are often featured on his Snapchat and Instagram feeds, which he updates constantly. In 2012, he told the Mississauga News that he’s an avid reader, saying he went through more than a dozen novels that year.
‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win‘It’s about the dream’: NDP supporters hail Jagmeet Singh’s leadership win
LONDON—British authorities are scrambling to bring home 110,000 travellers after Monarch Airlines collapsed Monday, cancelling all flights by what had been Britain’s fifth biggest carrier.
The Civil Aviation Authority said it has leased 30 aircraft to transport Monarch customers scattered around holiday destinations ranging from Turkey to Spain and Sweden. Flights will be provided at no additional cost to passengers.
“This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad, and my first priority is to help them get back to the U.K.,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement. “That is why I have immediately ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded.”
Some 860,000 customers in all are affected, with 750,000 with future bookings.
Monarch ceased operations after failing to reach a deal with regulators to extend the company’s license to sell package holidays to overseas destinations. Monarch Chief Executive Andrew Swaffield said the airline’s troubles stemmed from recent terror attacks in Egypt and Tunisia and the “decimation” of the tourist trade in Turkey.
The airline had tried to pivot from short-haul flights to long-haul travel to reduce losses as consumers shied away from Middle Eastern and North African destinations after the June 2015 attack on tourists at a resort in Tunisia, the bombing of a Russian airliner that had taken off from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, a few months later and the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016.
The CAA is advising Monarch customers who are trying to get home from abroad to visit the agency’s website for information about their flights. Passengers who were preparing to leave the U.K. on Monarch flights should not go to the airport.
The first repatriation flight carrying 165 passengers from the Spanish resort island of Ibiza has already arrived at London’s Gatwick Airport, the aviation authority said.
“The scale and challenge of this operation means that some disruption is inevitable,” agency CEO Andrew Haines said. “We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring everyone home.”
Monarch’s collapse represents the biggest ever failure of a British airline.
KPMG partner Blair Nimmo said administrators are now considering breaking up the company as no buyer has been found to purchase Monarch in its entirety. Counting the airline and tour operator business, the company had 2,100 employees.
The airline said companies affected by its failure include Monarch Airlines, Ltd., Monarch Holidays, Ltd., First Aviation, Ltd., Avro, Ltd. and Somewhere2stay, Ltd.
“All future holidays and flights provided by these companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating,” the company said.
Among those affected was a British couple who had intended to fly to Gran Canaria with their family to get married.
Bricklayer Alan Jee, 42, was five minutes away from his scheduled flight time when he learned the news. The flights for 30 of his friends and family — including fiancée Donna Smith — were also affected.
“My missus just burst straight into tears, and my mother-in-law, and my mum,” he said. “They (Monarch) are doing absolutely nothing about it whatsoever, they’ve palmed us off.”
Greybull Capital LLP, which owns The Monarch Group, issued a statement saying it was “deeply saddened” by the airline’s failure. It said it was working with regulators to minimize disruptions.
U.K. scrambles to bring home 110,000 travellers after Monarch Airlines collapses
Temporary employment agencies are now supplying labour to one of the country’s largest workplaces — Pearson airport — amid criticism that an influx of temps on the tarmac endangers both worker and public safety.
At least two temp agencies were contracted in May by major Pearson operator Swissport, which provides baggage and ground handling services, documents obtained by the Star show.
Pierre Payette, Swissport Canada’s vice-president of operations for Toronto, said the company “engaged subcontractors” earlier this year because of high turnover and retention issues, as well as the summer travel rush.
It’s the first time temp agencies have been allowed to operate at Pearson, according to Sean Smith of the Toronto Airport Workers’ Council, a cross-union body which advocates for Pearson workers. Smith says temp agency workers receive significantly less training than permanent employees.
“This is an airport authority responsible for one of the most security-sensitive pieces of infrastructure in this country,” he told the Star.
“This is not an entry-level job,” he added. “These people are working with massive equipment. We’ve already seen accidents and safety standards deteriorate at this airport. We’re stunned that they’re loosening the standards even more.”
Greater Toronto Airport Authority spokesperson Robin Smith refused to answer questions about whether temp agencies had been licensed to operate at Pearson, which employs some 50,000 people. The GTAA operates Pearson airport.
The GTAA’s emailed statement to the Star said “all companies who are permitted to operate at Toronto Pearson are subject to applicable laws and regulations” including security clearances. It said training questions should be directed to Swissport.
Two months after the agencies were engaged by Swissport, contract negotiations with unionized ground handlers broke down due to a dispute over pay and benefits. Some 700 employees have been on strike since late July. Swissport’s Payette said the company had “lawfully commenced using replacement workers, including agency workers and other staff.”
Payette said workers met “all applicable security requirements mandated by Transport Canada and managed by the GTAA,” and that “both Swissport employees and agency workers receive the training that is appropriate for their role.”
Henry Appiah, a striking ground handler with Swissport who has worked at Pearson for 10 years, said it’s the first time he’s seen temp agency employees at the airport.
“There’s a lot of risks. We deal with a lot of dangerous goods that go on the flights,” said Appiah, a 31-year-old father of one from Brampton.
Dan Janssen, who has worked as a baggage handler at Pearson for more than 15 years, said he received six weeks of job training. According to one contract between Swissport and a temp agency obtained by the Star, the agency agreed to provide three days of classroom instruction for temps.
The Star asked Swissport to specify how much training temp agency employees receive on the job. In an emailed response, Payette said Swissport conducts all training for anyone working on behalf of the company and that as “roles change and evolve, additional training is provided.”
“Safety and adherence to standard operating procedures has always been and shall remain our number one focus,” Payette said.
Janssen noted there are many on-the-job risks.
“We’re moving around aircrafts the size of buildings. There’s refuelling operations, there’s multiple movements of aircrafts because congestion is now a major issue,” said Janssen, who is now vice-president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2323, which represents thousands of aviation workers in Ontario.
“You’re using machinery in an environment that is supposed to be controlled. And when you’re not familiar with rules and regulations, that’s where the risk increases.”
The Star found postings for ground handling positions at Pearson made by four different temp agencies at the job search website indeed.com. The temp agency job postings seen by the Star did not specify who their clients were at Pearson. One posting specified that applicants must have Transport Canada security clearance, while another instructed workers to visit their office for “documentation and training.”
Research conducted by the Toronto-based Institute for Work and Health suggests temp agency employees are sometimes poorly trained and often assigned riskier work.
The union representing striking Swissport employees, Teamsters 419, is contesting the company’s use of temporary ground handlers in a complaint lodged at the Canada Industrial Relations Board.
Teamsters spokesperson Harjinder Badial said the introduction of temp agencies at Pearson raised questions “first and foremost for workers — safety for workers, for temp workers — and safety for the general public at the same time.”
“It’s very concerning on many different levels.”
The Star has reported extensively on job insecurity at Pearson and the rise of so-called contract flipping — which involves subcontracting out services, then changing providers every few years to shed employees, cut pay and keep entitlements low.
Earlier this year, a CBC investigation found that 2016 saw a significant increase in accidents at Pearson.
“At what point in time are we benefitting our communities, our workers or the travelling public with this low-wage precarious model?” said Sean Smith. “This is not a mom-and-pop shop.”
Temps on Pearson tarmac raise safety, security concerns, critics warn
It’s a rite of passage at Malvern Collegiate Institute for the Grade 11 and 12 drama students to write their names on the walls of the dressing room and backstage, respectively. Students are unsure exactly how long the tradition has been going on, but some say it dates back to the ’80s.
Now over 900 students, grads, and interested parties are petitioning to save the wall amid a school board plan to remove what they call “offensive comments” from the space.
“Being able to write your name on the wall means the world to them,” said Ben Loughton, a first year student at Wilfrid Laurier University who graduated from the Upper Beach high school last year.
“Later on you’re able to come back and see what you’ve done (and say) ‘I remember when I wrote this, I remember why,’ ” he said.
The dressing room was locked last Thursday after Malvern’s new principal, Bernadette Shaw, noticed the comments, a spokesperson from the school board told the Star.
Students reported that painters were scheduled to come to the school Friday, but were sent away due to the uproar among the drama participants.
Student body president Sebastian Scoular-Stajic says the students and administration are now at a standstill: no painting has been completed, but drama students are still locked out of the room.
Shaw is now planning on meeting with the students to discuss their concerns.
Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board, said the drama wall is “a year-book of sorts,” that includes “a number of offensive comments among the hundreds on the wall.”
“With that in mind, the room has been locked and the Principal will be working with students to determine next steps,” he said. “Whatever they may be, all offensive comments will be removed from the wall.”
Students say the administration is unfairly “clamping down” on the drama department, noting that it’s common for student athletes to use profanity, and that nothing on the drama wall was particularly egregious.
Loughton said he’s aware “not all of the tone is clean” on the wall, at least “not all at TDSB standard,” but said that’s because many of the messages are quotations from the plays they’ve performed.
Scoular-Stajic said students don’t want those comments removed because many are from plays they wrote themselves. “It is our voice on stage and this allows students to see the success offstage,” he said.
Contrary to the school board’s concerns, Loughton said the drama dressing room is a supportive, safe atmosphere where students find a place they belong.
“There’s always someone who is willing to talk,” he said. “It’s a better support system than the guidance system at the school.”
Bird declined to give examples, but said it was clear not all the offensive messages were quotations from plays.
The neighbourhood around Malvern was quick to throw support behind the students’ efforts to preserve the wall.
Hundreds who signed their online petition noted the historical value of the wall, with many offering anecdotes about their own memories signing it.
One signer, Wesley Dolphin, identified himself as Malvern’s former head caretaker for 13 years.
“I have witnessed the heartfelt dedication and commitment of the drama students at Malvern CI, painting over this wall would show complete disregard for the students contribution and dedication,” Dolphin wrote on the petition page.
Drama students at Malvern Collegiate fight to preserve ‘yearbook’ wall
EDMONTON—Police have criminally charged a Somali refugee who attacked an officer and ran down pedestrians with a truck — but are holding off on terrorism charges for now.
RCMP Supt. Stacey Talbot, with Alberta’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, said the investigation of Abdulahi Hasan Sharif is still “in its infancy.”
“The complexities of a terrorism investigation are vast,” Talbot said Monday. “We continue to collect and gather information.
“As the investigation unfolds and further information is garnered and if additional charges are supported, they will be pursued at that time.”
Sharif, 30, is set to make his first appearance Tuesday in provincial court on 11 charges, including five counts of attempted murder.
He has also been charged with dangerous driving, four counts of criminal flight causing bodily harm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Police raised the possibility of terrorism charges on Sunday when revealing that Sharif had been investigated two years earlier for espousing extremist views and was found to have Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, flag in his car.
Edmonton police have said they believe the suspect acted alone and without conspirators during the series of attacks, which began around 8:15 on Saturday night.
At that time, Edmonton police Const. Mike Chernyk was handling crowd control at a Canadian Football League game outside Commonwealth Stadium, just northeast of downtown. He was hit by a speeding white Chevy Malibu that rammed through a barrier and sent him flying five metres through the air.
The driver got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing Chernyk, a 10-year veteran, as he was lying on the ground. Chernyk fought back and the suspect fled on foot.
Chernyk was cut on his face and had abrasions on his arms but is expected to make a full recovery.
Police knew the name of the Malibu’s registered owner, as well as the suspect’s physical description, and set up roadblocks. Officers stopped the suspect, now driving a U-Haul truck, hours later a checkpoint near the stadium.
With police in high-speed pursuit, the suspect took off toward the downtown, mowing down four pedestrians along the way. The chase continued until police forced the truck to crash on its side. They then used a stun gun on the driver and took him into custody.
Edmonton police Insp. Carlos Cardoso was asked by reporters why authorities did not broadcast the name and details of the suspect to the general public after Chernyk was attacked, given the incident had the earmarks of a terrorist attack and happened near a major sporting event.
“We go on the information we have at the time,” said Cardoso. “At that time we had the area flooded. We had points set up and we knew very little about this individual.
“The events that transpired shortly thereafter happened that quickly so the opportunity to actually provide that duty to warn just wasn’t there at that time.
“There will certainly be a review after this to see if we could do things differently, but I do believe what we have in place right now is working quite well.”
Two of the four pedestrians remain in hospital, one with a fractured skull.
In Ottawa, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Sharif crossed legally into Canada in 2012 at a regular border crossing and obtained refugee status at that time. He said nothing raised any red flags at the time.
That Sharif entered Canada as a refugee has raised renewed concerns over how closely asylum seekers are vetted when they apply for refugee status.
Goodale says the existing procedures place a very high premium on public safety and international records are checked before asylum claims are allowed to proceed.
On Sunday, RCMP assistant commissioner Marlin Degrand said the suspect was checked thoroughly in 2015 after police received a report that he may have been radicalized.
Investigators determined at that time that he did not pose a threat.
Degrand said files on the suspect were kept and shared with other intelligence and police agencies.
Suspect in Edmonton attacks was investigated by RCMP in 2015
U.S. President Donald Trump’s education secretary, who holds controversial views on publicly funded education, is set to visit Ontario to learn about its public school system.
Ontario government officials confirmed Betsy DeVos’ trip is taking place but wouldn’t provide details. U.S. embassy officials provided few specifics, except to say DeVos’ visit is on Thursday and Friday and involves a study tour to Toronto “to examine best practices in Ontario’s education system.”
“Secretary DeVos plans to engage with Ministry of Education officials from Ontario and other provinces, visit local schools, and learn about U.S. Consulate support for U.S.-Canada higher education linkages,” spokesman Joseph Crook said in a statement.
The province often welcomes international delegations who come to look at its publicly funded education system, said Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter.
“We’re very proud of our education system in Ontario and we welcome international delegations who come here to learn from us and to really meet our great teachers and educators in our system,” she said.
When asked what lessons the American school system can learn from Ontario, Hunter cited full-day kindergarten, graduation rates, specialist high skills major programs — such as agriculture, construction and forestry — and inclusive education.
DeVos’ department of education rolled back rules allowing transgender students to use school restrooms of their choice this year. She has also attracted protests recently for revoking a guidance that instructed colleges on how to handle sexual assault cases, saying the previous policy was unfairly skewed against those accused of assault.
But much of the criticism directed at DeVos has focused on her positions on public schools, with critics saying she prioritizes the needs of private schools.
She advocates for school choice, which includes vouchers that allow kids to attend charter schools — which are publicly funded but privately operated — or private schools on the public dime.
Ontario teachers’ organizations and unions expressed disappointment at news of the visit.
“DeVos represents everything a public education advocate opposes,” Ontario Teachers’ Federation president Chris Cowley wrote on Twitter. “She should keep her backwards ideas out of Ontario.”
The head of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation said in a statement that he is “extremely concerned” about plans to allow DeVos to visit Ontario schools.
“Ms. DeVos is a vocal proponent of programs that divert government funding away from public education and into private hands, to pay for tuition at private and religious schools,” Harvey Bischof wrote in a statement.
“The Ministry of Education should reconsider this visit and send a strong, clear message to Ms. DeVos and other proponents of privatization that public education in Ontario is not for sale.”
Trump’s controversial education secretary Betsy DeVos to visit Ontario to learn about public school system
Friends are in shock after two Toronto men in their 20s were shot dead at Rebel nightclub early Sunday.
Police did not immediately name the two men, but friends identified them as Tyler McLean, 25, and Amir Jamal, 26.
“Tyler was such a friendly guy. Nobody could ever be mad at him and he had a lot of friends in this city who are shocked at this,” said McLean’s friend Adam Mahgoub, who confirmed that McLean and Jamal were friends.
McLean was a promoter for the nightclub and had been working there the night he and Jamal were shot in the parking lot near Polson and Cherry Sts. around 3:10 a.m.
A friend has setup a Gofundme campaign to help Jamal’s family ship his body back to Afghanistan, where he emigrated from six years ago. According to the page, Jamal was working long hours in Toronto and sending money back to Afghanistan to support his family.
“To everybody that knew Amir, he was the most genuine and kind person,” the Gofundme page said. “He was loving, caring and generous with every single person that he met.”
According to Jamal’s Facebook page, he had studied at York University.
Police said there was an altercation that led to the shooting. A black vehicle was seen speeding away from the scene and last observed heading north on the Don Valley Parkway.
No suspects have been identified.
Adnan Farhoud, who also works at the nightclub, said he left about 20 minutes before the shooting. He said McLean was smiling and having a good time, like always.
“He wasn’t even supposed to come in that night because he just came back the day before from vacation,” Farhoud said.
Earlier this month, McLean posted Instagram pictures of himself in Peru.
Mahgoub, who owns an events company, trained McLean as a promoter about three years ago and kept in touch.
“He was very well respected, very well liked,” he said. “Tyler had a huge future.”
Friends mourn victims of Rebel nightclub shooting
QUEBEC—The accused in the slayings of six men at a Quebec City mosque last January will bypass his preliminary hearing and go straight to trial, the Crown announced on Monday.
Prosecutors filed a direct indictment against Alexandre Bissonnette during a brief hearing before Quebec court Judge Jean-Louis Lemay.
Crown prosecutor Thomas Jacques also announced another charge — one more count of attempted murder with a restricted weapon.
The new charge involves 35 people, including four children, who were in close proximity when the alleged attack occurred, Jacques explained.
But the indictment won’t include any terrorism charges, Jacques added.
Boufeldja Benabdallah, vice-president of the Islamic Cultural Centre, lamented the lack of terror-related charges.
“This terrorist act must be recognized and condemned, so that it serves as a strong lesson for Quebec society, Canadian society and ... globally,” Benabdallah said.
Jacques said the charges reflect what the Crown had to work with.
“All the evidence gathered by the various police forces involved in this large scale investigation has been rigorously analyzed and the charges laid are the result and the evidence gathered, the available evidence and the current laws in Canada,” Jacques said.
Bissonnette, 27, now faces six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder using a restricted firearm.
Six people, aged between 39 and 60, were killed when a gunman stormed the mosque and opened fire on men who were attending prayer.
Jacques told reporters that the evidence disclosure process is also now complete, allowing the Crown to go the direct-to-trial route.
“The preferred indictment has been filed today — the consequence is that there will be no preliminary inquiry in this file and at the next date Dec. 11th, the Crown will be ready to fix the trial date in front of a judge and a jury,” Jacques said.
The Crown added many factors were considered before going the preferred indictment route, including speeding up the trial date.
“It’s not the only purpose of a direct indictment,” Jacques said. “It’s one of the many factors that has been considered.”
Among those in the courtroom on Monday were five of the six widows of the victims, attending for the first time.
Often in tears, the women left the courthouse without speaking to reporters as did Said El-Amari, who was seriously wounded during the January attack.
Benabdallah spoke on their behalf, saying the situation is extremely difficult for the women, noting their “pain is not gone yet.”
“They still wait for their husbands every morning and they aren’t there,” Benabdallah said.
He said he was pleased a charge was added to reflect the 35 others present inside the mosque and tremendously affected.
“They were physically, morally and psychologically wounded, and it’s justice that will play a fundamental role in resolving these wounds,” he said.
Quebec City mosque shooting suspect to go straight to trial, Crown says
Sahar Bahadi takes long, meandering walks through her North York neighbourhood rewriting her son’s story. Step by step on her daily treks, she retreads his life’s path and takes it further — beyond his 18 years, beyond the July 2013 night that shook his adopted city.
“I imagine that he completed his studies, he has his driver’s licence. I ask him to ‘drive carefully please.’ I talk with him all the time,” she said.
Sammy Yatim’s mother wears her son’s backpack on her shoulders and her grief on her face, her eyes behind red-rimmed glasses brightening only when telling stories of her precocious first-born child and his sister, Sarah, in happier times.
For three years after Sammy’s death, she wore his clothes, his cologne, his deodorant. She sometimes still pulls on his old black sweatshirt at home, though it’s begun to wear thin.
A constant presence during the lengthy trial of Toronto police Const. James Forcillo, who was convicted of attempted murder in Yatim’s death, the diminutive and stoic Bahadi will resume her spot in the courtroom Monday when the suspended police officer’s appeal hearing begins. Depleted for months after the criminal trial, she is steeling herself for another round of arguments over her son’s sudden and violent end.
She respects the court process — “they have the right to do this,” she says of Forcillo’s appeal — but can’t deny that it’s going to be painful, Bahadi said at a North York coffee shop last week, her first sit-down interview since her son’s death.
The circumstances of Yatim’s death are well known in Toronto and beyond. The 18-year-old died in a hail of bullets on July 27, 2013, after he exposed himself and pulled a small knife on passengers on a streetcar on Dundas St. W. By the time police arrived, he was alone on streetcar No. 4058, stopped near Grace St.
In a confrontation lasting less than one minute, captured on video by a bystander, Forcillo fired his police-issued Glock in two distinct volleys separated by five-and-a-half seconds. Three bullets flew in the first, including the fatal shot to the teen’s heart, then six more in the second. Yatim was then Tasered by another officer, who now faces a misconduct charge under the Police Services Act.
The jury found Forcillo not guilty of second-degree murder for the first volley, but convicted him of attempted murder in connection with the second, unleashed by the officer as Yatim lay on the floor of the streetcar, paralyzed and dying.
Forcillo’s lawyers have asked the Ontario Court of Appeal to quash his conviction or order a new trial, saying the attempted murder conviction “does not accord with logic or common sense.” The officer is also appealing the six-year sentence handed down by Justice Edward Then, who called Forcillo’s second volley of shots an “egregious breach of trust.”
Currently out on bail and suspended without pay from the Toronto police force, Forcillo was granted a bail extension on Thursday after his lawyers successfully argued to have the Court of Appeal consider allowing fresh evidence to be introduced. The new phase of the appeal means court hearings will stretch into 2018.
In her victim impact statement in May 2016, Bahadi told the court she felt “disabled” by grief. One year later she feels the same, but has started working towards a new phase in her life.
A pediatrician for more than 25 years before she left war-torn Syria, where Sammy was born, Bahadi is writing exams in the hopes of earning her Canadian medical equivalency. She adored her job and misses helping young families.
When she is out of the house, Bahadi is often recognized by strangers as Sammy’s mother, a byproduct of the widespread public outrage that began mounting immediately after the shooting. Her stunned face was photographed and broadcast during the protests that erupted into the streets, then later during the gruelling months of the trial.
People often ask her for a hug, she said.
“I’m glad for it, because it tells you it was something awful. It was traumatic for everybody. And the court should do something about it,” she said.
The video footage that sparked the outrage and, many legal experts believe, led to charges against Forcillo leaves Bahadi with conflicting emotions. She’s thankful for it and believes it leaves no doubt that what Forcillo did was unjustifiable. But its constant replaying in court took a toll.
“Every day, I watched my son die. Every day, I watched Forcillo shooting him,” she said.
Among Bahadi’s greatest worries is that Sammy’s life — his 18 years of accomplishments, friendship, family, travel and so much more — has been eclipsed by his death and its surrounding controversy. He paid too great a price for his behaviour that night, when he was “not himself,” she told reporters after Forcillo’s sentencing last year.
From her son’s backpack, the one he was carrying the night he died, she removes a thick family photo album. On the first page, Bahadi lies in a hospital bed holding her newborn son, visibly tired and undeniably proud. She flips through pages of Easter portraits, birthday parties with elaborate cakes including Winnie the Pooh, school music recitals, Scout outings and vacations.
One of her favourite photos shows Sammy hip to hip with Sarah on the couch. He was his little sister’s fierce protector, she said.
“I want people to know we had a beautiful life,” she said.
The appeal will be trying for Sarah, too, and for Nabil Yatim, Sammy’s father. In an email this week, he said the latest court process will be difficult “for everyone who loved Sammy.”
“It reopens the pain and grief once again. There is no closure, no ability to heal, with another round of litigation. I just want this to be over,” he said.
Yatim and Bahadi have both called for changes to result from their son’s death, including police training. After Yatim’s shooting, Toronto police hired retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to review use of force against people in crisis, resulting in changes to how officers are trained to handle similar encounters.
“I want officers to think before they shoot,” Bahadi said.
Much of the pain and anger she feels, indeed, stems from what she sees as the senselessness of Forcillo’s actions. She believes he had no regard for human life, that Sammy was “murdered by a policeman who did not act out of his duty to protect, but out of anger and spur-of-the-moment frustration.”
As his appeal hearing begins, Bahadi refuses to contemplate the possibility of an acquittal or a lighter jail sentence.
“I still believe in God. I still believe in justice. I think that (his conviction will be upheld) and he will go to jail,” she said. “And if not, how can they improve the system, if he isn’t convicted in such a crime?”
OTTAWA—The task ahead is undeniably formidable. A rookie on the federal scene, who does not hold a seat in Parliament and is untested with the reins of partisan leadership, has embarked on a quest to bring New Democrats to power in Ottawa for the first time in Canadian history.
Not only that — he’s up against a self-avowed progressive prime minister who preaches taxes on the rich and the urgent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, who may not have changed the voting system but is legalizing marijuana.
Can Jagmeet Singh, the NDP’s fresh new leader, fight Justin Trudeau for the left half of the political spectrum — and win?
For David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, Singh, who’s 38, represents a solid threat to Trudeau and his Liberal majority. Singh’s youthful mode of speech, adherence to left-wing orthodoxy on most issues, and his proven ability to generate buzz could make him a contender for a wide demographic of voters who flocked to the Liberals under Trudeau in 2015, Coletto said.
“When you think of the voters that both of these parties really need to do well, and that’s younger voters, I think Jagmeet Singh has the opportunity to really compete,” Coletto said.
“I look at him as someone who is probably going to be the greatest threat to the Liberals and that coalition they’ve put together that was anchored by millennials.”
Of course, actually drawing them into the NDP isn’t going to be automatic. But a key part of Singh’s pitch to New Democrats throughout the leadership campaign was his promise to widen the appeal of the party into corners of Canada where it has not traditionally succeeded.
His own electoral story is a testament to this. Singh is quick to point out that he started his political career by winning a seat in Brampton, a suburban city outside Toronto where the NDP had long been an afterthought.
His leadership campaign also claimed to have signed up 47,000 new members during the race. That means more than a third of the total NDP membership was brought in by Singh after he entered the leadership contest in May.
“Look at what we’ve been able to accomplish in a few short months,” Singh said Sunday during his victory speech. “Now imagine what we can build together, all of us together, in two years.”
Many observers have pointed out that the social democratic party is in debt and well-behind the Liberals and Conservatives in fundraising this year (the NDP raised less than $1.8 million in the first half of 2017, while the Liberals raked in almost $6 million and the Tories received more than $8 million, according to Elections Canada).
Brad Lavigne, a long-time NDP insider who spearheaded the 2011 “Orange Wave” campaign under Jack Layton, said the new leader has proven he can pull in donors and supporters. He said he’s confident the party will unite behind Singh as they pivot toward the next election.
“Looking at Jagmeet’s organizational capacity in this leadership alone, I know that we’re going to be ready to go for 2019,” said Lavigne, who supported Singh during the leadership race.
Money aside, the biggest battleground for that coming challenge will be fighting for votes with the Liberals, Coletto said.
Singh laid the groundwork for his assault on this front Sunday, when he accused the Trudeau government of essentially lying to Canadians about their intention to run a progressive regime in Ottawa.
Singh told the Star that it will be “easy” to paint this picture for Canadians, pointing to perceived government failures on Indigenous reconciliation, electoral reform, climate change, housing policy and more.
Coletto’s firm, Abacus Data, released a study in August that asked 2,000 Canadians a series of questions about how they perceive the major political parties. It found that most Canadians associate the Liberals and the NDP with similar values, including “cares about the environment,” “treat men and women equally” and “proud of Canada.”
The overlap in perception means differentiating his party from the Liberals will be a top job for Singh — the first leader of a major federal party who is not white — as he takes over the NDP, Coletto said.
And on this score, Singh is already pointing to his desire for more aggressive cuts to greenhouse gas emissions (he wants to hit the Liberals’ target five years quicker, by 2025). The former defence lawyer is also talking about “fundamental” changes to the justice system. This includes his proposed federal ban on racial profiling — ostensibly aimed at the RCMP to prevent racial discrimination by police — and his call to decriminalize all drugs.
“If you look at people who are criminalized for personal possession . . . these are people who are often faced with mental health issues, addictions and are poor,” he told the Star on Sunday.
“Our current strategy is not working. It’s not reducing harm. It’s not actually helping people out,” he continued, adding that he would like a system similar to Portugal’s, where resources are devoted to rehabilitation and treatment rather than law enforcement for possession convictions.
He slammed the Liberals for not decriminalizing marijuana as they prepare to legalize the drug next summer, hinting that this is another policy where he’ll be different — and more left-leaning — than Trudeau in the next election.
It’s impossible to say how that will play out. In Coletto’s mind, at the very least, Singh presents an undeniable shift in style and leadership for New Democrats.
“I’m not going to make normative statements about whether he is cooler (than the other leadership candidates) or not, but I think you can easily say that Jagmeet Singh is cooler than Tom Mulcair, on most objective measures,” he said.
Now it’s time to see how he matches up with Trudeau.
Can new NDP leader Jagmeet Singh resonate with millennials — and become our next PM?
OTTAWA—Upon taking an oath and becoming Canada’s 29th Governor General, Julie Payette made an impassioned appeal for Canadians to tackle “serious and pressing global issues like climate change, migration, nuclear proliferation, poverty and population growth.”
Payette spoke to more than 400 invited guests and dignitaries in the Senate’s red-carpeted chamber, delivering a notes-free and at times quirky address that echoed many of the Liberal government’s favourite themes.
She hailed “diversity” as Canada’s strength, the value of science and evidence-based decision making, and the need to reconcile with Indigenous peoples who she said were the original pioneers and “opened the way, showed us the way.”
“It is a good thing we finally decided to listen again to their wisdom,” said the 53-year-old Payette. Twice in the 21-minute address, Canada’s new Governor General addressed Algonquin elder Claudette Commanda, along with other Indigenous leaders at the installation, in a native language.
“We have to achieve reconciliation for the well-being of our communities and for our children,” she said.
She said there were many eminent scientists, aviators and “high-flyers” in the room and “they would tell you we are all inextricably bound by a part of the same space-time continuum, and sorry, but we’re all on-board the same planetary spaceship, but together we can move mountains.”
“With our brains and our smarts and our altruistic capability we can do a lot of good … to diminish the gap and inequities that are found here and elsewhere.”
Payette, the second Canadian woman to go into outer space and the first Canadian to work aboard the International Space Station, spoke of her own journey to the vice-regal office as an unlikely one.
She said she wasn’t expecting the prime minister’s call to become governor general, and her 14-year-old son, Laurier, gave her “permission” to accept the appointment.
But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who hailed her hard work, discipline and “most importantly, your passion,” said she was a natural for the job.
“Whether as Canada’s chief astronaut or as an Olympic flag bearer you represent the very best of what it means to be Canadian, to serve Canada with aplomb and integrity,” Trudeau said.
Hours before, Payette’s story was told in a newly unveiled coat of arms that portrays ambition, whimsy, and a musical flair.
Canada’s heraldic authority designed the crest to capture what it saw as the essence of Payette, an engineer, former astronaut, mother and Baroque music lover.
Flanked by two standing Canada lynx atop a blue borderless planet, the badge depicts an open wing, next to a crown, topped by an astronaut’s helmet, a musical bar and the motto “Per Aspera Ad Astra” which means “Through hardship to the stars.”
It’s a motto used by Payette and fellow astronauts, according to an explanation provided by the Canada Heraldry Office, which researched Payette’s background and drew on it for inspiration.
The two lynx in the crest wear collars of laurel or bay leaves — “laurier” in French — a nod to her son, Laurier.
The open wing is meant to symbolize exploration and liberty and embody “our desire to reach higher and expand our horizons,” says the Heraldry Office’s explanation.
Payette approved the design, said Claire Boudreau, chief herald of Canada, who said she was also inspired by a badge designed by a Quebec artist for Payette when she flew her first mission into space.
“I thought that this was very interesting that, already in her past, she had had the occasion to see herself in a design and to describe what is important to her,” Boudreau said in an interview posted by Rideau Hall Monday.
The choice of lynx was Boudreau’s. She said the felines represent what she saw when she looked at photos of Payette interacting with people.
“The way she looks at people she has this strength and direct connection. The animal that came into my mind … was the Canadian lynx. For me this animal is a feline, but it has a way to look at its environment but it’s discreet at the same time.”
Payette, 53, replaces David Johnston, 76. Johnston was appointed by former prime minister Stephen Harper.
Johnston and his wife, Sharon, served in the governor general’s office for seven years, beyond the usual five-year term.
Payette arrived on Parliament Hill at mid-morning on Monday, the start of a day filled with pomp and circumstance.
She was greeted by Trudeau and Indigenous leaders from the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Métis National Council.
At an installation ceremony in the Senate chamber she swore three oaths of office administered by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who holds the office of deputy governor general.
Payette selected the music for the program. A Tafelmusik baroque ensemble — Payette was once a member of the orchestra and choir — played Mozart’s “Divertimento”.
Payette chose Joannie Benoit and Mélissa Bédard, who became widely known during the 2012 season of Star Academy, to sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Payette sprang a surprise on those who attended, inviting Quebec’s Ginette Reno to sing the national anthem — a performance that Payette greeted with a standing ovation, as did the entire audience of Supreme Court judges, MPs, senators, former prime minister Jean Chrétien,and Payette’s predecessors Johnston and Adrienne Clarkson.
A 21-gun salute fired by the 30th Field Regiment and a flypast by CF-18 aircraft marked her departure from the Parliament Hill ceremony, as she headed to the National War Memorial.
Onlookers in Monday's festivities praised Johnston's time as vice-regal representative and were curious to see what changes Payette will bring to the role.
Karen Doehn, who was visiting the nation’s capital from New Dundee, near Kitchener, Ont., said she was pleased another female was in the role.
“I think she’s with it, as far as society goes and she's quite a bit younger so I think she's at her prime,” said Doehn, who took in some of the pomp and ceremony on Parliament Hill and then crossed the street to the National War Memorial, where she awaited Payette’s arrival.
Among his many duties, Johnston served as vice-regal patron of the Sons of Scotland, an Ottawa-based civilian pipes-and-drums band.
“With every new person coming into the office, I think you’ve got to give them time to figure out who they are and see what they are capable of,” said Bethany Bisaillion, the band’s pipe major.
With Johnston, it was a “grandfatherly role, very friendly to everyone,” she said.
With two flights to space, time as chief astronaut at the Canadian Space Agency and ability to speak multiple languages — French and English and able to converse in Spanish, Italian, Russian and German — Bisaillion predicted that Payette would put her own distinctive stamp on the office.
With files from Bruce Campion-Smith
Julie Payette becomes Canada’s 29th Governor General
A professor who commented about the “master” of Massey College to a Black student has stepped down as a senior fellow at the school.
Michael Marrus resigned his fellowship Sunday after nearly 200 students and faculty signed a petition demanding that he be removed.
“First, I am so sorry for what I said, in a poor effort at jocular humour at lunch last Tuesday,” Marrus wrote in his resignation letter to college head Hugh Segal.
“What I said was both foolish and, I understood immediately, hurtful, and I want, first and foremost, to convey my deepest regrets all whom I may have harmed.”
On Tuesday Marrus was sitting with three junior fellows — graduate students who earned residence at Massey College through academic and extracurricular achievements — when Segal asked to join them. At the time, Segal’s title was “master” of the college.
Marrus allegedly said to a Black graduate student: “You know this is your master, eh? Do you feel the lash?”
The comment, which was widely viewed as a reference to slavery, prompted an open letter to Segal on Wednesday demanding Marrus’s resignation and additional changes to deal with the incident.
On Friday, Massey College agreed to almost all the demands made in the petition. The college temporarily suspended the title of “master,” promised anti-racism training and apologized for the incident.
In accepting Marrus’s resignation, Segal wrote, “To say that I regret the event that created the need for your letter would be a serious understatement.”
Marrus is retired from the University of Toronto but has maintained an office and senior fellowship at Massey College, which is an affiliated independent college at U of T.
Massey College professor resigns over ‘master’ comment to Black student
EDMONTON—The case of a Somali refugee accused of attacking a police officer and running down four pedestrians has been put over so he can find a lawyer.
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif made his first court appearance Tuesday on 11 charges, including five of attempted murder, that were laid after a driver hit an Edmonton police officer with a speeding car, stabbed him and then mowed down pedestrians with a cube van during a downtown police chase.
Tactical officers forced the van on its side and arrested a suspect after using a stun grenade and a Taser.
Sharif, 30, appeared on closed-circuit TV and followed the proceedings with the help of an interpreter. The accused spoke briefly with a lawyer who stepped forward to help.
The case was put over until Nov. 14, but could be called back sooner if Sharif can hire a lawyer before then.
Edmonton police have raised the possibility of terrorism charges against Sharif because there was a Daesh, also known as ISIS and ISIL, flag in his car and he was investigated two years ago for espousing extremist views.
The RCMP has said the investigation is complex and no terrorism charges have been laid.
Mahamad Accord, a member of Edmonton’s Somali community, said he will do what he can to help Sharif apply for legal aid if he can’t afford to hire his own lawyer.
“As you know Canadians — everyone has the right to a fair trial,” Accord said outside court.
He said there has been lots of hearsay about Sharif, including reports that he has a brother in Toronto, but no first-hand information.
Ahmed Ali, a man who described himself as a spokesperson for the city’s Somali community, said Sharif will get help with an interpreter, but wouldn’t comment about helping him get a lawyer.
Ali also declined to answer questions about Sharif’s background or whether Somalis are facing any backlash over the attacks.
“I would be lying if I told you that members of our community are feeling threatened, scared or concerned, because the EPS (Edmonton Police Service) has been doing a fantastic job, and so have the RCMP,” he said outside court.
Sharif also faces charges of dangerous driving, criminal flight causing bodily harm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Police have said they believe the suspect acted alone and without conspirators.
Const. Mike Chernyk was handling crowd control at a Canadian Football League game Saturday night when he was hit by a car that rammed through a barrier and sent him flying. The driver got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing Chernyk.
The constable was treated in hospital and released.
As of Monday, two of the pedestrians remained in hospital, one with a fractured skull.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has said Sharif crossed legally into Canada in 2012 at a regular border crossing and obtained refugee status.
RCMP have said Sharif was checked thoroughly in 2015 after police received a report that he may have been radicalized, but investigators determined that he did not pose a threat.
Edmonton attack suspect appears in court; case adjourned until November
WASHINGTON—House Republican leaders called for unity and prayer Tuesday after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, but offered no new legislation to tighten gun laws and said a bill to ease regulations on gun silencers would be shelved indefinitely.
“We are all reeling from this horror in Las Vegas,” Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference. “This is just awful.”
Ryan said there’s no plan for the House to act soon on a National Rifle Association-backed bill to ease regulations on gun silencers. A House panel had backed the bill last month and lawmakers were expected to move ahead on the measure.
The bill is “not scheduled right now. I don’t know when it will be scheduled,” Ryan said.
Instead, Ryan and other GOP leaders urged prayers to unify the country and said a positive way to respond to the shooting is to donate blood. Ryan said the actions of the gunman who killed at least 59 people and wounded hundreds more will not “define us as a country. It’s not who we are.”
Ryan’s comments came as Democrats renewed calls for gun safety legislation.
Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, pushed Congress to pass a universal background checks bill and “commonsense gun laws” to help prevent the next mass shooting.
“We can’t stop the shootings that have already happened in Las Vegas, Chicago, Roseburg, Oregon, and across the nation. We failed to respond in time for those victims and their families. But if we work together, we can stop shootings in the future,” Durbin said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that the GOP-backed silencer bill could have deadly consequences.
“One of the few ways the police had to go after this shooter was they could look for the sound, try to hear the sound of where the guns came from,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “Thank God our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have pulled back on this bill.”
Schumer and other Democrats noted that Republicans postponed a hearing on the silencer bill in June when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were shot at a congressional baseball practice.
“When two mass shootings force you to delay a bill that would make those mass shootings harder to detect and stop, maybe that’s a sign you ought to let go of the bill go, once and for all,” Schumer said.
Besides the silencer measure, House GOP leaders had been moving forward with a bill to allow people with concealed-carry permits to take their weapons to other states. Republicans had been upbeat about prospects for legislation, but votes on both measures seemed unlikely.
Sen. Chris Murphy who favours gun control, said Monday it was “time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.” In an outdoor news conference Monday, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, grievously wounded in a 2011 attack, turned to the Capitol, raised her fist and said, “The nation is counting on you.”
But no action was expected, as other mass shootings in Colorado, Connecticut, and Florida, and even attacks on Gifford and Scalise, failed to unite Congress on any legislative response. A bipartisan bill on background checks failed in the Senate four years ago, and since then Republicans have usually pointed to mental health legislation when questioned about the appropriate congressional response to gun violence.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday asked Ryan to create a select committee on gun violence to recommend legislation. A group of Democratic lawmakers asked Ryan to remove the silencer bill from the House calendar indefinitely.
In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Ryan said Congress needs to fund mental health reforms. “But if you’re saying that this Republican Congress is going to infringe upon Second Amendment rights, we’re not going to do that,” he said.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said lawmakers should remember the good feelings they shared when Scalise returned to the Capitol last week, more than three months after the June 14 shooting.
“It’s really a time that we have to heal. It’s really a time to find what divides us” and put it aside, he said. “We need to find that we are stronger. We cannot allow this terror to win.”
Paul Ryan says NRA-backed gun bill on silencers shelved indefinitely
Two men have been charged with second-degree murder in a double shooting outside the Rebel nightclub early Sunday that left two other men dead.
Police found the victims at the scene, near Cherry and Polson Sts., around 3:10 a.m.. One man was pronounced dead on scene, and the other was taken to hospital, where he died from his injuries.
On Tuesday, police formally identified the victims as Tyler McLean, 25, and Zemarai Khan Mohammed, 26. Mohammed was also known as Amir Jamal.
Police also said Abdirisaq Ali, 23, of Toronto, and Tanade Mohamed, 24, of Edmonton, had been arrested on charges of second-degree murder. They were scheduled to appear in a Toronto court Tuesday.
The arrests came after officers executed search warrants in the York Mills Rd. and DVP area on Monday, police said in a news release.
Friends and family of the victims were left reeling by the deaths. A Gofundme page raising money to ship Jamal’s body back to his family in Afghanistan called him “the most genuine and kind person.”
Adam Mahgoub, a friend of McLean, said he was “very well respected, very well liked.”
McLean was a promoter for the nightclub who had just returned from a vacation, according to a coworker. Jamal had been sending money back home to his family. The two men were friends.
The deaths are listed as Toronto’s 44th and 45th homicides this year.
With files from Alanna Rizza and Samantha Beattie
2 men arrested in Rebel nightclub shooting deaths
MONTREAL—The election of Jagmeet Singh as leader was a watershed moment for the NDP and for Canadian politics. But the blow dealt to runner-up Charlie Angus on the first and only ballot of the campaign was also revealing of the party’s mood.
On Sunday the Timmins-James Bay MP lost both in the real world and on the field of expectations. Angus did not expect to become the NDP’s new leader on that day. But nor was his team prepared for a crushing and definitive defeat.
By the time the Liberals picked a leader in 2013, the men and women who had run against Justin Trudeau knew they would be little more than extras on the set of a coronation.
By comparison, Angus entered the weekend of the vote cast as one of two front-runners in the campaign to succeed Thomas Mulcair only to emerge as a distant also-ran.
A well-respected MP with more parliamentary experience than any of his three rivals, Angus had cause to hope his promise to reconnect the NDP to its roots would resonate with the party base.
He had not recruited as many new members as Singh, but polls suggested he was the popular choice among New Democrats of longer standing.
Indeed, at the time of the previous NDP leadership vote in 2012, Angus’s decision to rally Mulcair’s camp after his own preferred candidate, Paul Dewar, was eliminated, had been considered one of the more significant developments of the day.
And yet, in the end, the result was not even close. Angus —with 19 per cent of the vote — did not only finish more than 30 points behind Singh, he barely beat Niki Ashton (17 per cent) for second place.
Angus might have fared better under a riding-by-riding weighted system such as that of the Liberals and the Conservatives. The one-member-one-vote NDP formula does play to regional strengths at the potential expense of broader national appeal. Singh’s support was unevenly distributed across the country with a heavy emphasis on the GTA and the larger Vancouver area.
But the final score suggests that a significant part of the party base Angus was counting on to keep his campaign alive and get to fight another ballot was in Singh’s corner.
The appetite for a trip back to a future that stood to again feature permanent opposition as an NDP way of life turned out to be limited.
This is the same party that shocked the country’s political class by summarily handing Mulcair his walking papers a year and a half ago.
“I did not think we were that kind of people,” one New Democrat had told me in the hours after Mulcair’s leadership had been disposed of.
Angus’s results suggest the New Democrats are indeed that kind of people. Jack Layton spent his tenure urging New Democrats to set their sights on forming a government. In the pursuit of power they are no less cold-blooded than their Conservative and Liberal counterparts.
And then it is not a reflection on Angus’s merits to note that his path to victory had the potential to poison both the New Democrat well and that of his leadership. A winning scenario for his campaign featured mostly terrible optics stretched out over two and possibly three divisive weeks.
As proud as the NDP was of the demographic diversity of its leadership line-up, it had the potential to backfire on the party.
Here is how the vote would likely have had to unfold for Angus to win.
On the first ballot, Guy Caron would have been struck from the line-up.
On Sunday, Caron finished last with 9 per cent of the vote. There is no guarantee his supporters would have even bothered to vote for one of the surviving contenders on subsequent ballots.
On week two, Niki Ashton would have been voted off the island. It might then have taken yet another week and another round of voting for Angus to prevail over Singh.
Having beaten in succession a francophone Quebecer, a woman and a runner-up issued from the ranks of Canada’s visible minorities and done so over weeks rather than mere hours on a convention floor, Angus would have his work cut out for him trying to convince Canadians that he was taking command of a forward-looking NDP.
Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer. Her column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
In NDP leadership race, Charlie Angus was dealt the hardest blow: Hébert
A single vehicle rollover on the QEW at Guelph Line has sent eight people to hospital and also closed down all lanes leading into Toronto.
Emergency services responded to the scene of the accident around 2:30 p.m. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police said a minivan skidded across the lanes and “came to rest on its roof in the left lane,” leaving “debris all across the highway.”
Eight people have been rushed to hospital, two with critical and one with serious injuries. The injuries to the others are unknown as yet.
Several people were “ejected” from the vehicle during the accident and came to rest on the road, itself, in “different locations” across the highway, Schmidt said.
“That is obviously concerning for us,” he said, adding that the investigation into the crash would likely be lengthy.
Some of the possible factors at play the police are investigating include mechanical issues, human error, and whether seatbelts were used, he said.
One westbound lane of the QEW is getting by. But Schmidt said the best thing to do is avoid the area and get off the highway if possible. Anyone who witnessed the accident is encouraged to contact police.
QEW crash at Guelph Line sends eight to hospital, closes lanes into Toronto
Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul has failed his second medical, according to a report by Sportsnet.
The result, based on an independent medical examination ordered by the NHL, allows the Leafs to place the winger on long-term injured reserve for this season.
Lupul is owed $5.3 million this season, and it will not count against the cap, thanks to the result of his medical.
That means Toronto has about $4.7 million of potential cap space, depending on the makeup of its season-opening roster, which was due to be submitted to the NHL by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Lupul spent the entire 2016-17 season on LTIR; he failed his initial medical at the opening of training camp, but a second, independent exam was ordered after Lupul’s controversial post on his instagram account, which brought the original medical into question.
Lupul quickly apologized for the post and removed it from the account.
Leafs' Joffrey Lupul fails second medical
OTTAWA—A new poll conducted by Ekos Research and commissioned for The Canadian Press suggests the Liberals find themselves statistically tied with a resurgent Conservative Opposition.
The New Democrats — reeling from a disappointing 2015 campaign and lengthy leadership race — remain a distant third, driving home the political challenge confronting newly elected NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Ekos president Frank Graves says the numbers suggest the Liberals have finally come back to earth after enjoying a massive lead in public support after the 2015 election — an advantage they managed to maintain for more than a year.
The Ekos-Canadian Press poll, which puts the Liberals at 34 per cent, the Conservatives at 33 per cent and the NDP at 15 per cent, surveyed 4,839 people during the last two weeks of September, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Graves says he believes the Liberals will be watching the Conservative numbers closely, as well as the NDP, which is likely to be targeting many of the progressive voters who supported Justin Trudeau’s party in 2015.
He also says the poll suggests that the Liberal government’s controversial tax reforms — criticized by opposition parties as well as many doctors, farmers and small business owners — are not having a significant impact among Liberal or potential Liberal voters.
Federal Liberals, Conservatives statistically tied, NDP a distant third: poll